It is easy, at the halfway point in the semester, to feel overwhelmed - or at least, to feel very tired. At a school like Saint Constantine, I see my colleagues fulfilling many tasks that our public school peers are not usually asked to do. For instance, in addition to teaching, many of us serve different roles in athletics, the arts, and administration, while also working on completing additional studies or degrees for professional development. These competing interests pull us in many different directions, making it challenging to find quiet time to get our thoughts together. The busyness of a teacher looks different than the busyness of a parent or the busyness of a student, but I am sure that all members of our school community can relate to this feeling in some way.
When our immediate circumstance feels overwhelming, it is necessary to take a step back and reevaluate what is truly important. We do this to see if we can make changes to bring some order to the chaos, or at least, quiet the noise a little. And this halfway point of the semester - as we transition into a new season with slightly cooler (hopefully) temperatures - is an excellent opportunity to take some time and reevaluate our priorities.
In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus warns against serving two masters because of the inner division it brings. For many of us, that number may feel like more than two! Whatever the number of 'masters' we attempt to serve, Jesus helps us to see that the externals in life (such as what we eat, drink, or wear) are not the lastingly important things. Just like the lilies of the field in all their splendor, those things are here one day and gone the next. Of course, that does not mean that we can neglect our duties or the needs of a given day; but neither should we see them as the sole purpose of our life. To help give us a realistic perspective on the proper ordering of our loves, Jesus tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness." Only with God first can we have the proper perspective to order the things in our lives rightly.
This may mean that some things drop off of our "plates" to provide us some relief. On the other hand, it may mean that our commitments don't change at all, or that we even need to add more to an already full plate. Seeking the kingdom of God looks different from person to person. Prioritizing our lives toward God and His righteousness may not lessen our workload, but when God is put first, He brings order to chaos. He helps us to accomplish our tasks with a renewed sense of purpose and with an eye toward the True, Good, and Beautiful things that make them worthwhile.